City state

Ijaw States, including Opobo
Coordinates: 4°30′41″N 7°32′24″E / 4.51139°N 7.54000°E / 4.51139; 7.54000Coordinates: 4°30′41″N 7°32′24″E / 4.51139°N 7.54000°E / 4.51139; 7.54000
Country  Nigeria
State Rivers State
  Amanyanabo Daneson Douglas Jaja V
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)

Opobo is a city-state in the southern region of Nigeria. The state was founded in 1870. A greater part of the city state is still referred to as Opobo in Rivers State and is made up of several Islands and communities, mainly Opobo Town, Queenstown, Kalasunju,Oloma,Ayaminimah,Iloma,Minimah,Okpukpo,Iwoma,Ekereborokiri,Kalaibiama, and Epellema while a part of the city state is now in Akwa Ibom State, made up of Ikot Abasi, Kampa.[1][2]


Opobo was to the east of the Kingdom of Bonny. Both Bonny and Opobo are of the same origin. An Igbo man called Jubo Jubogha (known as "Ja-Ja" to Europeans) led the Anna Pepple house (Wari) of Bonny. In 1870, Jaja arrived in Opobo from Bonny, moving due to a dispute with chief Oko Jumbo, the leader of the rival Manilla Pepple family (Wari).[3] Jaja was accommodated by the Nkoro leader, King Kpokpo[4] and formed what he called "Kingdom of Opobo" which he named after Amanyanabo Opubo "Pepple" Perekule the Great, a Pepple King in Bonny that reigned from 1792 to 1830.

Jubo Jubogha became involved in palm oil trading with Europeans. He started a trading post at Opobo Town, close to Ikot Abasi 4 miles southwest of the Opobo River. The European traders called him King Jaja. Jubo Jubogha was never on good terms with Ngwa people to the north, Annang and the Ibibio to the east, as Jaja declared himself as the middle-man in palm Oil trading, thus asking them to stop trading directly with the European. This resulted in a war (Ikot Udo Obong War) between Jaja and the Annang and Ibuno people as recorded by Nair.[5] In 1887, he was deceived when he was told to go and negotiate with the Queen of England by the British and sent on exile to Saint Vincent in the West Indies.


The rulers of Opobo were:[6]

Start End Ruler
25 December 1870 September 1887 Jubo Jubogha "Jaja I" (b. 1821 - d. 1891)
September 1887 1891 Perekule (chairman Council of Chiefs)
1891 1893 "Cookey Gam" (political agent)
1893 12 October 1915 Obiesigha Jaja II (Frederick Sunday)
1916 1936 Dipiri (Arthur Mac Pepple)
1936 1942 Sodienye Jaja III (1st time) (Douglas Mac Pepple) (d. 1980)
1942 1946 Stephen Ubogu Jaja IV (acting)
1952 31 July 1980 Sodienye Jaja III (2nd time) (Douglas Mac Pepple)
1980 2002 Vacant
1 October 2004 Dandeson Douglas Jaja V (b. 1947)

Notable people


  1. "Ikot Abasi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  2. "About Opobo". Opoboregatta.com. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  3. G. I. Jones (2001). The trading states of the oil rivers: a study of political development in Eastern Nigeria. James Currey Publishers. p. 15ff. ISBN 0-85255-918-6.
  4. http://www.scribd.com/doc/36981645/The-Izon-of-the-Niger-Delta-Chapter-22
  5. Cf. Nair, 1972, page 183
  6. "Traditional States of Nigeria". World Statesmen. Retrieved 2010-10-17.

Further reading

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